the greater london authority (gla) put up huge metal fences when they cleared the square of a small tent city that had grown. admittedly some of the campers, although they tried to claim otherwise, were clearly not protestors and were not part of brian haw's campaign, and it was right to clear these away, not least because some of their behaviour compromised the peaceful, responsible and conscientious nature of the long-established parliament square peace camp. however, after that operation, more than a month ago, the fences have remained. this journalist's attempts to get a sensible explanation from the gla have proved impossible so far.
now the fast-changing events in burma have given a reason for large numbers of people to legitimately lobby parliament to act, but under SOCPA they are supposed to give at the very least 24 hours notice, and in theory, six days. because they were not 'authorised' they have been hassled by police, although there don't seem to have been any arrests yet.
meanwhile, gordon brown spouts platitudes about the need for the burmese government to allow peaceful protest - the hypocricy stinks to high heaven. as one campaigner eloquently described the blair/brown handover, "same shit, different asshole"
the burmese protestors are also being told they are a danger because of blocking the pavement, but if ken's damnable fences weren't there, there would be no problem accomodating the several hundred protestors that have turned up.
tomorrow there is a call for everyone to wear red shirts in solidarity with the burmese people, and on sunday there is a planned march from trafalgar square to the burmese embassy (starting 11.30am).
you may be able to see live-ish pics of the protest (until they switch it off) at http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/content/webcams/546501.shtml
he has negotiated with charing cross police that the burmese protestors are legitimately part of his 'authorised' peace strike, until such time as the police officially 'authorise' the burmese folk under the 24-hour emergency ruling.
the police were anxious to go along with this solution, as otherwise, under tony blair's law, which gordon brown has NOT rescinded, the police would have had to arrest burmese protestors outside parliament. not a good look while brown is spouting his pathetic requests for the burmese military to "show restraint".